RUMOR: Astros interested in bringing back Robinson Chirinos
Both of the Houston Astros’ catchers are free agents this winter, but the Astros have reportedly expressed interest in bringing back Robinson Chirinos, according to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com:
Robinson Chirinos' market is already active this winter. In addition to the Mets (1st reported by @KenDavidoff), the Astros, Reds and Rangers are among teams that have shown interest in the 35-year-old catcher, per sources. Chirinos has hit 52 HR in 315 G since the start of 2017.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) November 20, 2019
Chirinos slashed .238/.347/.443 with 17 homers in 114 games last season. He also hit a pair of big homers in Game 3 and Game 4 of the World Series, but was otherwise unspectacular throughout October, slashing .173/.246/.423 during the playoffs.
The eight-year veteran also had a number of mixups during the playoffs and is hardly the best framer in the game, though he is incredibly agile behind the plate.
Marin Maldonado–Houston’s backup catcher–is also a free agent, so the Astros clearly need to engage in the market. They might hope to bring Chirinos back on another one-year deal, which would also give them more flexibility in trying to extend Gerrit Cole or potentially add other pieces.
On the other hand, the Astros could still look into singing Yasmani Grandal, who is one of the best framers in the game and would likely have a compounding effect on Houston’s starting rotation. Grandal is also coming off a year in which he set career highs in homers (28) and OPS (.848). However, he is likely to have a massive market as a switch-hitting catcher.
Feinsand also reports that the Reds and Rangers could be in on Chirinos. Texas would make for another reunion after Chirinos spent six years there between 2013 and 2018. Cincinnati, meanwhile, has been all over the catcher market.